Tech Tips When Traveling Abroad 28/07/2017

Over the last decade or so, the popularity and efficiency of technology has progressed in such a way which has revolutionized the travel industry. As a consumer (especially millennials), just think about some normal travel processes, how things happen, and the role of technology plays when we plan and go on a trip:

  1. We discover destinations through travel websites, blogs, and social media.
  2. We book airlines and flights through online travel agents (OTA)
  3. We get booking confirmations through email.
  4. We check-in to our flights online, before reaching the airport.
  5. We activate roaming packages for our cell phones.
  6. We use different cell phone apps to find things to do and restaurants to eat.
  7. We use Google translate to communicate with the locals, Google maps to find our way around and Uber to securely get around.
  8. We take photos of our trip using our smartphones and share them on social media and messaging apps.
  9. We “check-in” to the places we go to on social media.
  10. We use different apps to rate our experiences from restaurants, hotels, stores and tourist attractions.

Every year for the last 10 years, I have travelled to at least 2 countries. Through my travel experiences I found that there were 3 things that stood out as very important for me when traveling: lodging experience, dining experience and the local / cultural experience. So, to decide where to stay, where to eat and what to check out, I simply use my smartphone with a few apps to educated myself and keep myself in the loop.

Here are my tips for all you travelers:

First things first, DO NOT forget your cell phone or your charger (and buy one of those universal adapters if you need, they will come in handy as each region’s power outlets are differently shaped). Then make sure you call your network carrier to see what kind of roaming packages they offer for the country you’re visiting or just be prepared to buy a sim card from your destination country. I usually get a local sim card and bulk up on the data and cut down on the calling minutes (because who still makes phone calls, when you can WhatsApp call).

When booking hotels, use online travel agency for discovery, however when actually making the booking, always check directly with the property via call, email or through their website. You may sometimes find better deals directly with the website.

Download a few apps on your phone before you travel for example: TripAdvisor for reviews of restaurants, shopping centers and tourist attractions. Yelp for restaurant locator, photos, ratings, and reviews. Google Maps to  navigate your way around. Uber to get from place to place. However, all these apps don’t work everywhere and therefore you must find something that is supported locally at the destination.

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